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Deidre

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When aiding my students with their writing assignments, I experience a certain frustration at their lack of exploration. No matter the nature of the assignment, students are taught to seek the right answer in the most direct manner. In this age driven by state assessments, students are encouraged to find what???s considered to be the correct answer quickly with little room for exploration or a deeper level of critical thinking. Students are often encouraged to get from point A to point B in a quick and efficient manner without stopping to discover along the way. Although students achieve their goal of completing an assignment in a timely manner, the writing that results lacks originality of thought that can only be discovered through exploration.

As an adjunct, I stress the importance of exploration for the good of my students??? creative and academic endeavors. These efforts make both of us not only better students, but help to ensure that we can increase of knowledge in all areas of our lives no matter what path they may take. I believe that teachers who demonstrate curiosity and passion about a subject area motivate students to learn. I believe that W.B. Yeats captured the exhilaration of teaching when he wrote: ???Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.???

My philosophy of teaching is to create an environment that allows for supervised exploration. I believe that learner-oriented teaching promotes learning that is both purposeful and enduring. However, to really transition from a teacher-centered learning environment to a more learner-centered environment, students must identify learning needs in themselves, and assess their own progress. As an adjunct instructor, I encourage my students to participate in active conversation about literature as well as their own composition process. In my opinion, first year students will benefit more from an instructor who will listen in addition to guide them towards a more cohesive writing style that will last throughout their collegiate and professional careers.
In summary, the learning process is enhanced by
??? a collegial relationship between teacher and learner
??? evident pride in scholarship by the teacher
??? challenge of the learner???s knowledge
??? clarification of underlying structure by the teacher
??? mutual feedback.

Deidre’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Temple University - Bachelors, Marketing

Graduate Degree: Arcadia University - Masters, English

Hobbies

reading, writing, swimming, hiking, dancing, singing, writing

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

Literature

Public Speaking

Reading

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy of teaching is to create an environment that allows for supervised exploration. I believe that learner-oriented teaching promotes learning that is both purposeful and enduring. However, to really transition from a teacher-centered learning environment to a more learner-centered environment, students must identify learning needs in themselves, and assess their own progress. As an adjunct instructor, I encourage my students to participate in active conversation about literature as well as their own composition process. In my opinion, first year students will benefit more from an instructor who will listen in addition to guide them towards a more cohesive writing style that will last throughout their collegiate and professional careers.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a first session with a student, there would be some ice breaking in order for the student to feel comfortable with me. Also, I'd have to assess the student to see what their writing needs are, so that I may best serve them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

In this age driven by state assessments, students are encouraged to find what’s considered to be the correct answer quickly with little room for exploration or a deeper level of critical thinking. Students are often encouraged to get from point A to point B in a quick and efficient manner without stopping to discover along the way. These efforts make both of us not only better students, but help to ensure that we can increase of knowledge in all areas of our lives, no matter what path they may take. I believe that teachers who demonstrate curiosity and passion about a subject area motivate students to learn independently.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Often, students become disenchanted with the writing process because of a lack of feedback or negative feedback. In order to keep my students motivated, I encourage open lines of communication. Also, I always give personalized feedback that seeks to point out strengths and weaknesses as well as what the student and I can work on collectively.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Quite simply, I find a way to get the student to learn the difficult skill or concept by finding a different approach. While students need to have a similar knowledge base, all students learn differently; therefore, it is crucial to find ways to reach the students where they are in order to get them where they need to be.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Much like when I had to help my own daughter, it takes patience and exercises that will help improve reading comprehension, and that also improve writing.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

The most successful strategy that I've employed involves listening and understanding what the student already knows and building from there. Again, all students learn differently, so it's important to get to know the student in order to get the best result.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Most students, especially when it comes to reading/writing/English, would prefer not to be engaged at all. However, my lessons usually involve relating lessons to current events/entertainment/pop culture, which helps them to relate and become more engaged/excited with the subject.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Sometimes, I give quizzes. However, when giving the quizzes, they are not normally the traditional kind. I find that talking things out with students ensures that they comprehend the material without the added pressure of an exam/quiz. Also, I will give a writing exercise that will help to reinforce the concepts needed.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Constructive, positive feedback is the best way to build a student's confidence in a subject, especially one such as English. I've heard students say that they didn't believe that professors/teachers actually read their paper, so when they see my feedback, it helps them to feel more confident that someone is reading/listening and paying attention.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I give a writing assessment by asking a question, and giving students time to write a brief essay in order to assess their writing needs. Sometimes, these questions are similar to college application questions such as "What is your greatest accomplishment?" These questions are designed to learn more about the student and to assess their needs, which gives me valuable information that helps me to help them.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Again, I need to assess the student's needs, and only then can I decide the best course of action. There isn't always a one size fits all solution for students.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

During classes, I use anything available that I believe will reach students. That could mean using clips from MSNBC Learn and YouTube, or using outside reading materials. Anything that will help the student to succeed in the short and long run.